Blogging for business: increase visibility and enhance your digital presence

19 Jun 2017 |

Lucy Cornes is the founder of digital publishing and content creation platform She Shopped. She appeared at the Mobile-ising Women in Business conference in Adelaide on 27 June 2017, and spoke with Biz Better Together about her experience as an online entrepreneur and the opportunities for businesses to use blogging as part of their digital strategy.

She Shopped origins

She Shopped began as a pure blog but has evolved to become a modern agency. I come from a radio broadcasting and writing background, I was a columnist for the Sunday Mail here in Adelaide. Our eldest son Eddy was born with Congenital Heart Disease in 2006 and it became very evident that maintaining a normal job and having to keep hours as requested by a boss was going to be unrealistic. I was forging a good career in broadcasting and I had my first opportunity for breakfast radio but I actually had to call in sick at 4am because it looked like we were heading to hospital with Ed. So that was a moment of clarity for me and indicated if I was going to have a career – and I did want to have a career – then I was going to have to create something for myself.

I was talking to my husband, thinking about what I was going to do, and he said to me, “You’re very good at finding ‘stuff’ online,”

And it was true, because given Ed’s situation, I didn’t get to go into stores to buy clothes or gifts, I would always shop online. And people would always be asking me, “Where did you get that?” and then when I told them I bought it online, it would put them off. This is five or six years ago, and it’s easy to forget how far online retailing has come in that time; back then it wasn’t as accessible or effective and it wasn’t as familiar to people, either. Then, people lacked confidence in buying online – they still do to some extent – and so they were (and are) looking for that trusted voice and recommendation.

The importance of connection

She Shopped started as that trusted voice between brands and customers, so we were saying “This company is great to shop with online and here’s how you do it.” In the early days we really were doing a lot of handholding, essentially telling people what to buy and sending them the link to the product, to help make sure they really were going to have that fantastic buying online buying experience.

The biggest difference now is that we create the majority of the content you see on the site, and the biggest growth area has been the video production. We have a great capacity now to create content that brands can use beyond the length of the campaign; photography and video they can use for other marketing is valuable to them.

I realised a few years ago that the blogging market was being flooded and if I didn’t have a point of difference I wasn’t going to survive, and I also realised that the biggest challenge for brands was the time and creativity needed to produce good quality, relevant, authentic content that speaks to their audience.

Is blogging still relevant?

Blogging, despite the negativity we sometimes hear about it, is still an incredibly effective tool. Probably the number one thing I’ve seen in the current climate is an influx of bloggers, and not all of them are doing well. However, there is still great money to be made as a blogger as long as you avoid the mistakes that get in the way of making money and relegate bloggers to the hobby status.

You can be a talented content creator and an effective marketer but if you make these big mistakes brands will take advantage of it and it will stop you making a profit out of what you’re doing.

For brands the value of engaging a good blogger is evident and it’s not only for generating traffic and driving sales. A proficient content creator will help a brand to increase its digital footprint, improve organic search performance and generate back-links.

Blogging is an opportunity for every business

There are also people who may not think of themselves as bloggers, but blogging can absolutely be a part of their marketing and communications strategy. A blog provides Google with a point of reference: add video and your discoverability increases again.

So if I had a business, that was for instance a shoe brand, I’d be creating great video content and publishing it on YouTube and my website – remembering to place the link to the blog in the description of the video on YouTube. Consistently doing this works to give your site a kind of expert status and in fields where there are very competitive organic search times, like shoes or fashion, blogging can be really important to help lift the visibility of your brand.

It’s important to have a digital presence that looks good. If I’m looking for a hairdresser and I jump online and do a search, I’ll find their website and their social media and if it looks professional and all the details are there – and, perhaps most importantly, it’s not a frustrating experience – then that’s all very appealing to me as a customer.

Visibility and discoverability is crucial. I can’t think of any industry where blogging wouldn’t help your business be more visible. Unless you are in a business that is not trying to build a digital footprint, blogging is relevant. And now, every business is or should be trying to build that digital footprint. Even in traditional businesses that are the bricks-and-mortar model or service based, even those servicing a very narrow geographical base, it’s still really, really important. It’s how people find you now.

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